Prediction of clinical outcomes using B-type natriuretic peptides in the general population: a systematic review
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The use of B-type natriuretic peptides to predict outcomes in general populations has been investigated in a number of primary studies. A previous systematic review considering natriuretic peptides in cardiovascular disease included a subgroup of general population studies, which suggested an association with a number of clinical outcomes. We electronically searched Medline, Embase, AMED, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and CINAHL for English-language articles published between 1989 and mid-2012. We utilized trained reviewers and standardized forms to screen articles for inclusion and extract data from included articles. All included studies (n = 7) were summarized in narrative and tabular form. A general population was defined as one that was randomly selected from a community setting where no specific inclusion or exclusion criteria were specified. The seven included studies all used FDA approved assays for NT-proBNP. The range of clinical outcomes and heterogeneity did not allow for meta-analysis. The hazard ratios for predicting outcomes in the included studies ranged from 1.0 to 4.1 (all p values <0.05). The discrimination statistics reported in four studies all demonstrated statistically significant improvements in predicting outcomes. NT-proBNP is associated with heart failure, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, and other combined cardiovascular events in a general unselected population. The discrimination statistics suggest modest improvements in risk stratification. No prospective studies exist to demonstrate the clinical utility of using B-type natriuretic peptides to predict clinical outcomes in a general population.
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